The Christmas Squid: Relaxing The Holiday Aesthetic

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I'll admit it: I'm the worst when it comes to having a very, very specific idea of what my holiday decor/gift wrap/dessert is going to look like, and going after it full-force. But while I might have visions of white and silver wintery woodland cookies dancing in my head, if the 7-year-old gets his heart set on making Christmas squid, moths, and carrots, who am I to argue? Squid are the best...

For me, this attitude is about so much more than just cookies— it's about letting the holidays happen naturally and happily, and not pouting if everything doesn't look/feel/go the way I'd envisioned. There are certain special projects that I love doing by myself, my way, but other than those few? The more ideas the merrier!

This isn't to say I can't influence our holiday style, gently and subtly. I can buy brown kraft paper for wrapping, but there's a good chance someone's going to want to color on the wrapped gifts with every marker possible, or tie up the packages with strips of plaid flannel. These are possibilities that never occur to me, and will probably turn out better than I could ever imagine.

A rigorous, visionary aesthetic certainly photographs better, and I don't think I'll ever stop brainstorming ways to make our holidays beautiful, but what I'll remember isn't that we didn't get to make the white Scandinavian minimalist cookies that I'd envisioned, but rather the crazy amounts of sweet fun we had rolling out and decorating our Christmas carrots, squid, moths, and fish.

How does your household combine everyone's holiday aesthetic? Or is one person given free reign? Does this make your home especially beautiful— or especially stressful?

(Image credits: Tess Wilson)

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